By: Bronwyn Ison
Soaring temperatures are still forecast but… Summer is officially over! Returning to school from an exciting summer can cause angst in children and their parents. It is back to resuming bed time hours, making lunches, doing homework, school activities and more. Plus, your child will have a new teacher, meet new friends and may be transitioning to a new school. Going back-to-school does not have to be stressful. It’s yoga to the rescue.
A 2003 study by California State University, Los Angeles found that Yoga improved students’ behavior, physical health and academic performance. Plus, bolstering self-esteem. Consummating a yoga program for your child or teenager will provide them with tools that are life changing and everlasting. The entire family benefits including the parents. It is an activity that parents can share and enjoy with their children. When yoga is involved as a family it fosters a healthier bond.
A child’s concentration and self-esteem can be taken to new levels by teaching them they can achieve greatness on their mat. Also, learning to partake in the present rather than compressing everything. This will help your child remain engaged and focused while cultivating peacefulness. We have often had our child take a nap to achieve this awareness yet yoga has been known to have similar effects. Practicing yoga is a healthy alternative and outlet for stress management, encouraging creativity and piquing the imagination. The peer social interaction teaches children that we are all the same inside regardless of what we look like on the outside. We are living beings that feel and love. Yoga can inspire children to be patient, kind, accepting and respectful of others and self. As a child grows they can learn more about their personal body awareness. A child will recognize their strengths and how the body moves. The practice also encourages discipline and responsibility.
Try a few youthful poses with your children. It may allow you to feel like a kid again. Many of the yoga poses are inspired by animal names or by things you would find in nature. Take for instance; Tree pose or cat/cow.
Tree pose: Stand on one foot, resting the other foot just above or below the knee. Stay rooted through the standing leg while reaching arms overhead. Turn this into “Windy Tree” pose by slowly moving your arms, as though they were branches in the wind; or try “Tree at Night” by attempting to close your eyes and stay balanced!
Cat/Cow: Position yourself on your mat on all fours like a cat or cow. Begin to round your spine to resemble a scared cat. Draw your chin in towards your chest. Transition to cow by uncurving the spine. Flatten the spine and transition to a slight arch in the lower back, tilt your head back and lengthen your chin to the sky. To make the pose more playful, make cat and cow sounds.
If you desire to try something new or are seeking an activity to do together, yoga may be an exceptional choice. You will be pleasantly surprised how calming yet invigorating this activity is in a family environment.
Evolve Yoga in La Quinta offers Children’s Yoga, Yogability with SueAnn Etebar. Classes resume September 3 ~ 4:00pm-4:50pm. Ages 7-11. The program is offered by monthly enrollment or and/or drop-in’s. Also, enjoy our “Uniquely You,” with Susan Alexander. This is an all girls program. Ages 8-16. This program is offered as 5 Sessions. Visit: www.e-volveyoga.com for more information about futures dates and times, or call (760)564-YOGA (9642)